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Four years later: Delphi murder families turning grief into positivity while keeping hope for justice

The families of Abigail Williams and Liberty German still have no answer as to who is responsible for this tragedy, but they continue to have hope and to channel their grief into something positive.

Posted: Feb 7, 2021 9:22 PM
Updated: Feb 8, 2021 12:33 AM

DELPHI, Ind. (WLFI) - We are approaching the four year anniversary of murder of Abigail Williams and Liberty German in Delphi. One week from Sunday marks four years since the girls' bodies were found.

The families still have no answer as to who is responsible for this tragedy, but they continue to have hope and to channel their grief into something positive.

"It's frustrating," said Mike Patty, Libby's grandfather.

"Unfortunately, it is really sad that we've had to wait this long," said Kelsi German, Libby's older sister.

"If I say something to someone about it and their like, what year is coming up? I'm like four. And they're like already four?" said Anna Williams, Abby's mother. "It doesn't seem possible because it feels like yesterday."

On February 13th 2017, Abby and Libby went missing while walking on the Monon High Bridge in Delphi. Their bodies were found the next day. It's been two years since investigators released an updated sketch of the suspect, along with video and audio Libby bravely recorded on her phone.

"We'd much rather be going to a ball game and watching the girls and going to band concerts and stuff," said Eric Erskin, Abby's grandfather.

"Watching them go to the prom, just all the things that was robbed, that was taken away from them," added Patty.

This would have been the girls' senior year at Delphi Community High School. Their fellow 2021 classmates made sure they weren't forgotten by painting a parking spot in their honor.

"It's really cool to watch her friends all graduate and come out here and visit her. And all the awesome things they are doing and are going to do," said Kelsi. "But it's bitter sweet knowing she doesn't get to do that with them."

Kelsi regularly visits Libby at her resting spot, bringing along one of their favorite treats to share. 

"We would always go after school and get a small fry and a large sweet tea," she said. "It's where I feel closest to her, I can enjoy her presence and we can talk, or she can talk and I can listen."

Kelsi, who just recently celebrated her 21st birthday, is now in her third year at Purdue studying forensic psychology. She wants to work the families of homicide victims to help them deal with the loss. She said it's important to her to use her platform on social media to bring attention to other unsolved murder cases around the country, to help them in their fight for justice too.

Photo: Abby and Libby's parking spot memorial at Delphi Community High School.

News 18 asked Williams if she would also like to meet at Abby's grave, but she politely declined to preserve her privacy.

"It's like your own home or her room, that belongs to me," she said. "Somebody out there knows what happened and what they did to our children and I'll be damned if he gets to see her room or any of that personal space."

No investigators from the Indiana State Police are talking with media this year about the case. They released the following statement on February 1st:

"Law enforcement continues to utilize County, Local, State and Federal resources to accomplish our goal. There is still a dedicated, multi-jurisdictional team working on this case every day, which includes two Carroll County detectives, two Indiana State Police detectives and other law enforcement officers. We continue to actively investigate all tips and leads we receive by phone and email. This type of violent crime cannot and will not go unanswered."

"We don't have an arrest, we don't have a conviction," said Patty. "The investigators are continually working on this. They haven't stopped."

The families said they keep in touch with investigators every few months, if only just for reassurance that tips are still coming in and they are still working on leads. ISP did confirm that Superintendent Doug Carter met with the families this past week, as he has done every year since the girls were killed.

ISP's definition of a cold case is when five years have passed with no new tips or leads. With tips being received daily, ISP said this is far from being considered a cold case investigation.

They have added Abby and Libby's case to the Crime Door App. People can download the app and through virtual reality, they can walk the bridge as the girls would have seen it. Kelsi said she was the first to see the profile and wanted to experience it alone because of the emotional impact of it all. But she is hopeful it will continue to spread Abby and Libby's story, and will hopefully lead to someone sending in the tip that they need to solve the case.

"Even if they catch the guy tomorrow and even if we know and pray to god that this does not happen to another family, the girls still aren't going to be here, and that is bottom line," said Williams.

As the families continue to deal with yet another year of grief over their loss, they're turning that grief into something positive with the Abby and Libby Memorial Park. A playground, amphitheater, trees, pic-nic shelters and softball diamonds have all been installed over the summer and fall. Two wind chimes sing into the cold air by the amphitheater, always reminding those who come of the reason for the park.

"These girls, our family, our community, everybody around the state, we all deserve justice," said Patty. "Just like this park, it's taken a community to build it, we need the community and the state to get this case solved as well."

Much of the materials and labor used so far to get the park moving has been through community donations of time and resources, donations the families said they are extremely grateful for. The goal is to have the park open and ready for softball season this spring.

They are also hosting their annual food drive at the Delphi United Methodist Church on Friday and Saturday.

"The girls would have supported a food drive and a pet food drive, pandemic or not and now we've seen that the need is very great here in our local community," said Williams.

The families are asking the community to come forward with any information they may have.

"Law enforcement has always emphasized is that they may only be short one piece of evidence or one tip," said Erskin.

They are also asking the community to keep their hope, faith and patience strong.

"We're going to get answers," said Kelsi. "If he's out there we're going to find him."

"We just have to keep that faith and that hope and keep praying," said Williams.

If you have any information to share about the murder of Abby and Libby, please reach out to investigators. The email is abbyandlibbytip@cacoshrf.com, or call you can call 844-459-5786. Below are the two sketches Indiana State Police have released since the start of the investigation. The one on the left is the most recent.

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